by Jacques Werth
I suggest that you join a medium-sized independent brokerage that has several agents who earn $200,000 or more in commissions. Get a commitment that you will be able to observe their top earners one day a week, while they are prospecting and selling to their own clients. Take notes on everything they say and do. Then, do what they do.
Do not offer to reciprocate in any way. That kind of mentoring is priceless, and most highly successful people enjoy doing it. If you need help closing some of your prospects, it’s okay to split the commission when they do.
Your market should focus on executives and managers of large organizations that are most likely to have substantial disposable incomes and/or a high net worth.
There are thousands of expert agents and representatives for every financial product and service who cannot sell. They will do all of the work for a small part of your commissions. Your expertise should be focused on prospecting and selling. However, in the beginning just offer life and disability insurance and mutual funds.
Most important – “interested” prospects seldom buy. Spend your time with prospects that WANT what you offer them.
Highly effective sales producers make fewer sales visits. They only visit the prospects that are most likely to buy from them. They become more and more skilled at knowing the difference between buyers and “tire kickers”. They also become very skilled at communicating with real buyers.
Salespeople that follow this strategy close more sales per month (on average) than those who make more sales calls.
by Jacques Werth
To make more sales, meet with the highest level person who makes decisions about purchasing what you are selling. It’s not a good strategy to talk to anyone at a lower level first, unless it is the top decision maker’s assistant (also known as a gatekeeper). Here is an example:
Sean, a young salesperson with a very large software company visited with the IT manager of one the largest car manufacturers. Sean was told that they were “absolutely not interested” in his type of software. Sean mentioned the conversation to his sales manager, who reminded him that he was trained to contact C-level Execs, not managers.
Sean began to phone several of the senior VPs of the car company. Eventually, he spoke to the assistant to the Chief Information Officer (CIO), and he explained what he was selling. A minute later the CIO got on the line and said, “I understand that you have software that can automatically identify corrupted and missing information in our database files. Is that correct?”
Sean said, “Yes that’s correct. Is that what you want?”
She said, “Yes. How soon can we get together?”
Sean met with the CIO the next day and he went through the entire High Probability Selling process with her. He came back two days later with the product manager for that software. After a thorough discussion about what the software could and could not do, the product manager estimated the price to be between 3 and 4 million dollars. The CIO asked for a written quotation.
Within a week the CIO authorized a $3.5mm purchase of the software, and handed Sean a written purchase order.
by Jacques Werth
Why Most Top Producers Don’t Use CRM
Top sales producers (the top 2%) are typically ambitious, highly intelligent and pragmatic. Most will use any available technology that enables them to sell more and better. Top producers seldom use CRM (Customer Relationship Management) systems because their own sales processes are different from the sales process that is installed in the SFA (Sales Force Automation) part of the system. If the top producers’ actual sales process is installed in the CRM system, they’ll use it. That will benefit them, most of the other salespeople, and the bottom line of the company.
Interviewing Top Producers Does Not Work
Most of top producers learned to sell intuitively, experientially, and individually. They can seldom accurately communicate how they sell. Most “best sales practices” studies fail to identify the sales processes of the best producers. Most of the research methods are question based. Thus, they are biased at several levels.
An Effective Research Method
The best way to determine your company’s best sales process is to base it on unbiased observations of what your best salespeople actually do. Observing them while they are working with their prospects and customers will reveal your company’s actual best sales process. Then, the sales process installed in your existing software system can create a significant increase in sales productivity.